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QUB and Malone driving on in bid for promotion

By Michael Sadlier

While Banbridge's troubles continued, there were positive outcomes for Queen's University and Malone as both clubs boosted their promotion hopes in AIL Division Two.

For Queen's it proved to be a dramatically tight finish, at the Dub, in their Ulster derby with Belfast Harlequins as the students held on to win 25-24 against the bottom side.

The students were 25-5 ahead at half-time before Quins staged an impressive comeback and might have won had Adam White been able to add the difficult conversion of Ben Alexander's late touchdown though the struggling Deramore side still gathered up two bonus points.

Queen's scored through Zac McCall, Nick Timoney and Mark Gordon allowing them move up to fourth in the table.

Malone fought back in the second half when they hosted Blackrock College at Gibson Park and took four points from their 18-13 win through a penalty try and touchdown from Mark O'Connor with the result seeing Paddy Armstrong's men now sitting in third but on equal points with leaders Highfield and second-placed Nenagh.

Banbridge's woes continued when losing 22-14 at Corinthians with the third straight defeat for Dan Soper's men seeing them drop a place to fifth and five off the top three sides.

In 2B, Armagh suffered a second straight reverse when they entertained Greystones and lost 18-12 though the losing bonus ensured they stayed top by a solitary point from their visitors to the Palace Grounds.

City of Derry's impressive revival continued when they saw off Dungannon 18-17 at Stevenson Park.

In 2C, former leaders Rainey Old Boys got the better of Kanturk, down in Munster, to remain in second.

As for Bangor, they suffered another damaging setback after travelling to Bruff where the home side triumphed 41-12.

2A: Corinthians 22 Banbridge 14, Highfield 31 Cashel 7, Malone 18 Blackrock College 13, Nenagh Ormond 10 Sunday's Well 7, QUB 25 Belfast Harlequins 24

2B: Armagh 12 Greystones 18, Dungannon 17 City of Derry 18, Barnhall 14 Bective 7, Thomond 12 Old Crescent 27

2C: Bruff 41 Bangor 12, Kanturk 16 Rainey 24, Navan 45 Midleton 3, Sligo 37 Seapoint 12, Tullamore 43 Boyne 8.

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